Below is what the teacher is looking for in the essay:
The two basic theories presented in class are Conflict Theory and Structural-Functional. Applying a life experience to one of the theories is what you were missing. Also more clearly using your life experiences as examples of the areas of institutions (social change, etc.). For the community essay:
1. —>show how the situation in your community you talk about fits the definition of Conflict or Struc-Func theory because……….
2. –>Does the area of the state you live in have the same/different values, norms, customs, laws, and so forth from other areas of the state or from the broader institution of religion, family, military, government, health care?
—àTry to focus your essay on one or two basic topics in the community and relate it to discussion of the definition of an institution. For example, my community is trying to pass a levy in November for funding for our local schools.
–>Conflict theory: cut backs in federal/state spending has forced the need for communities to fend for themselves to ensure a decent education for our kids. So “stability for some,” in this case balancing the budget for everyone, “is causing the oppression” of our local educational system, and the children in it.
–>Structural-Functional: our school district is lacking funding for certain programs. Luckily, there is a pre-defined method in our laws (that are also socially accepted–everyone will have to accept the outcome) that deal with this issue. Communities can vote on whether or not they want to fund local schools, giving everyone a say in the pre-defined process. This is “the patterned solution for everyday problems.
As a reflective essay the goal of this piece of writing is to encourage some self-interrogation as well as an assessment of student understanding of the initial concepts, ideas, and theories associated with the study of social institutions.
The essay should first address the following questions:
- What are the implications of the idea of institutional “functional imperatives”? (Based on the readings, lectures, and discussion how might you explain the concept to somebody not in this class?)
- Based on your understanding of the concept of functional imperative, what are the major roles and functions of social institutions in human society?
- How are those roles and/or functions played out at the local, community, or regional level?
After addressing the above questions, your essay should include the following discussion:
- From your list of major social institutions in human society, pick one, and explain the impact of that social institution in your community. Provide specific examples and/or cases as you can and analyze those cases by explaining the function of the institution in each case. Additional considerations include: as you reflect on how the institution has performed in specific cases consider how the institution has affected your community? What roles or functions does it most consistently seem to play (from your perspective)? Would you suggest that the institution has had an impact on your community? Why or why not? By impacting (or not impacting) the local community is that institution having an impact on your life and life experiences? How so, or how not?
The essay should use only as many words as necessary, but should be less than 750 words in length (not including references).
Be sure to follow all rules of good scholarship and cite materials that are paraphrased or quoted.
THE BELOW NAMED TEXT BOOK MUST BE USED AS A REFERENCE:
Crisis In American Institutions (14th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.